Sep 21, 2021
You know, that little internal voice that has tendency to go on and on and on, especially if your are riding on your own.
Is it a critic? Is it telling you to stop being such a coward on the hills, or that you look to fat in your cycling shorts, or that you might crash?
Or is cheering you on, telling you that you are strong in body and mind, you appreciate your capable body and you love how you can power yourself at speed on your bike. That you are inspiration to others?
You see, when I got in to mtb racing, I started to notice that when I made a mistake on the trail, my internal critic would get going on me....."for god's sake, pull yourself together and stop making so many stupid mistakes" it would say. "see, you are losing places, you total LOSER".
I noticed I would tense up when this happened and fall off more and get more critical...and the whole thing was a vicious downward spiral.
Does that ever happen to you?
So, what I tried, was to intentionally change the self talk to the opposite.... "Wow, Liz, you are on fire today!" "Wow, I love the line you took through that section! It was so fast!"
This revolutionised not only my performance and racing results but also meant that I went from not enjoying my racing much to really loving it.
At first it felt really uncomfortable. I felt like I was conceited, arrogant, self congratulatory even though I was only talking to myself!! how crazy is that.
I now know that this impulse to suppress these kinds of cheerleading thoughts is PART OF OUR SOCIAL CONDITIONING as women. We do it to fit it. We do it because in the old world view of competition and every man and woman for himself/herself it was not safe to shine....others would try to take you down for it....
So we have a tendency to default to self criticism instead.
So the next time you are out, I invite you to :
notice what your self talk is.
if it's critical, see what happens when you change it to talk to yourself like you would encourage your best friend or your child who you were really proud of..
Perhaps you have already made this change for yourself?
P.S. thing is, this doesn't just work for your works for any area in your life where you want to perform well and that negative little voice shows up....

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